Nothing fairly prepares you for the violence of the Fiesta leaving the road. The response is instantaneous and the traction absolute, the STARD turning each single kW of these motors into explosive ahead movement. It claims the 0-62mph dash takes about 1.8sec, but it surely feels even faster contained in the automotive, whose silence has now been shattered by the machine-gun fireplace of gravel towards wheel arches, loads of gearbox whine, the high-pitched hum of electrical motors and, shamefully, the even higher-pitched scream of this tester.
It takes a second or two in your mind to unscramble itself, which is doubtlessly an issue as we’re bearing down on the primary nook, which so as to add to the enjoyable additionally combines the primary swap from Tarmac to gravel. Thankfully the brakes are highly effective and superbly progressive, every little squeeze of your left foot delivering a straight proportional hit of retardation. We tiptoe via the gravel on this our sighting lap of a circuit we’ve by no means pushed earlier than, earlier than hitting the Tarmac once more as a surprisingly stoical Stohl provides the instruction to flooring it once more and unleash the complete fury of all three motors as soon as extra.
We’ve solely received three laps to pattern the STARD, so discretion has to play the higher a part of valour, but it surely’s a ringing endorsement of the good set-up (and shortness of the lap, with solely 4 corners to recollect) that midway via the second lap you’re beginning to exploit the automotive’s potential a bit of. The ability by no means fails to shock, however so approachable and balanced is the dealing with that fairly quickly you’re beginning to really feel such as you would possibly, simply would possibly, be capable of do that rallycross factor.
You’re aided by the driving place, which is spot on. It helps whenever you’re the same peak and construct (with, on this case, the same coiffure) to Stohl, because the restricted time means no alternative to regulate the seats or pedal field (lanky BTCC legend Matt Neal was in after us, and he appeared decidedly, erm, cramped), however the upright, close-to-the-wheel positioning is pure rally automotive moderately than low-slung, centre-of-gravity-pleasing circuit racer, that means you get an incredible view out that makes it a doddle to put the STARD simply the place you need it. In fact, the pedals are completely sited, whereas the figure-hugging carbonfibre shell seat and four-point harnesses preserve you pinned in place.